Vincent exhaled sharply as he emerged from the confessional and used ‘Eyes of the Moon’ to view the long narrow corridor.
Judging from Vanessa’s reaction, he probably hadn’t messed up...
This newly appointed Seventh Apostle was not as gentle and amicable as she came off. A part of it was due to her ‘Silent Domain’ power, while the rest was a deliberate show towards her subordinates and followers.
Vincent's assumption wasn’t without basis. Even within the Church of the Dome, there was no shortage of gossip so Vincent had heard about this Apostle’s temperament before she even became a candidate.
— Every apostle would prepare their own successor in advance. Vanessa had been the previous Dark Moon Apostle’s assistant and aide, helping with running the Seventh Parish. When the previous Dark Moon Apostle passed, she assumed the position naturally. Thus, most priests and clergy of this parish knew her.
Vanessa’s character could be described as harsh. She was basically someone who had to seek revenge for the slightest grievance, with swift, decisive action and zero tolerance.
If Vanessa had discovered the sacrilegious thoughts and doubts Vincent had, she would have probably gotten her subordinates to seal off the confessional and call in the church’s evangelists to silence him to prevent word about there being a problem with the Holy Moon Essence from leaking out.
And now, Vanessa hadn’t done anything like that. She had instead comforted Vincent and asked him to use Holy Moon Essence more. This meant that she hadn’t noticed Vincent’s little feelers and had been successfully duped into thinking that he had come in to make a report because he was scared.
But at the same time, this basically meant that there really was a problem with Holy Moon Essence… There were certainly a few others having similar questions like him and Vanessa’s reaction was well practiced.
While replying to Vincent, ‘Silent Domain’ had been activated as she attempted to use her power to make Vincent ‘obey.’
However, she didn’t know that when her power came into contact with Vincent, the priest fell into a momentarily daze, but then he felt Sun Scripture in his arms absorbing the aether fluctuations from Vanessa and allowed him to regain his senses.
Vincent’s heart sank.
Looks like the bookstore owner is right. Perhaps they have deceived us for far too long… However, Vincent couldn’t bear to part with his past and was still struggling to come to terms with the crumbling of the faith he had all his life.
His heart was filled with uncertainty. Should he tell everyone the truth? Did he have the ability to do so? And would he have the strength to bear the consequences?
Vincent was thoroughly confused and didn’t know what to do next. Thus, he chose to stay at the priests quarters at the sides of the church to mull over it.
On this night, he tossed and turned with worry before finally falling asleep from exhaustion.
In his sleep, Vincent had a hazy inkling that he had stepped into a strangely beautiful dream.
The velvety night sky full of stars was reflected on the tranquil lake beneath Vincent’s feet. And in front of him stood a faceless girl in a black dress with a miniature sun and moon suspended above her hands.
For some reason, this young girl seemed familiar, as if he had seen her before somewhere...
However, Vincent’s attention was drawn to the miniature sun and moon.
The sun was like a dazzling ball of fire full of high energy explosions and surging power that was suffocating.
On the contrary, the moon was peaceful and calm, exuding a faint luster that was calming to the soul.
Most importantly, they each had their own respective vitality, which gave off a feeling of constant growth.
It was a far cry from the stillness of the pale moon’s divine power that Vincent was used to feeling!
It would still be fine if there wasn’t a comparison. But when there was, the moon’s divine power that Vincent used to feel was a sort of cold and damp, as if he was covered in moss that made him feel disgusted.
“Chosen One, you have finally come,” said the young girl.
Vincent was slightly stunned. This scene was already magical, but the words ‘chosen one’ struck him like a hammer blow.
The only thing where he could consider himself to be chosen was having been recommended Sun Scripture by the bookstore owner.
Vincent didn’t know whether he was imagining things, but the manner in which the young girl spoke seemed a little stiff, as if she had just learned her lines and wasn’t yet proficient.
However, Vincent was no longer capable of paying heed to these minor details.
“Who are you? Where are we? What are you trying to do?” Vincent exclaimed in slight panic.
The young girl answered, “You don’t need to know my name for the time being. This is my dream, my domain. I dragged you in because we share a common enemy… Use your heart, and you will know the answer.”
A common enemy, that can only be… the moon!
There were two moons. The one the Church of the Dome believed in, and the one before him now. One was real, and one was false.
Could this young girl be the true Goddess of the Moon?!
Vincent’s gut and instincts told him so. His eyes were completely drawn to the sun in the young girl’s hand as he started to get overwhelmed by an intense desire.
I want… I want it… Give it to me!
Vincent’s hand had already reached out as these thoughts came into his mind. His fingers first touched the sun, feeling the scorching heat before he slowly placed his entire palm on it.
The young girl’s gaze remained insipid as she reminded Vincent, “Remember, there’s no turning back.”
He understood that this was something very dangerous, but… He couldn’t control himself! His body was being forcefully compelled to take the sun.
The scorching heat spread from his fingertips to his entire body, then exploded with warmth and the dazzling white light in his vision expanded more and more till it engulfed everything.
Vincent felt like he had become a sun, radiating endless light and heat.
Hyman followed Vincent in secret and came to his room in the priest quarters.
To be on the safe side, he first hid for quite some time, waiting till Vincent had fallen asleep. Only then did he appear, and he drew a poisoned dagger from his sleeves.
He concealed himself, stealthily making his way to the fast asleep priest. Then with a cold venomous gleam in his eyes, he raised the dagger.
For Her Excellency. For the Church. For the great Moon!
This was what Hyman told himself each time he acted.
But this time, just as he was about to stab down his dagger, Sun Scripture in Vincent’s arms suddenly burst into flames!
Hyman had no time to react as the moon’s divine power throughout his body was instantly ignited, transforming into an unimaginable heat, burning his flesh along with his clothing.
His dagger fell to the ground with a clang as he screamed from the intense pain. He was like a torch, burning up in twisted flames, making him appear like a visitor from hell.
Vincent woke up with a start and opened his eyes. The first thing he saw was a completely charred corpse followed by a red sea of flames all around him.
The roof started to collapse as Vincent leaped up from bed, recognizing the charred bits of clothing remaining was from the attendant waiting outside the Dark Moon Apostle’s door.
“An attack!! An attack!!”
A loud shot came from outside, followed by the sounds of hurried footsteps that got closer and closer.